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When you’re just starting out cycling, it can be hard to know what to do or what you’ll need. You’ve probably seen the lycra-clad cyclists racing away with all the high-grade equipment and gadgets. But you don’t need all of this to enjoy an adventure on two wheels. Cycling offers freedom and a thrill that can’t be beaten. When you’re just starting out though, it can feel a little daunting at times. That’s where Cycling for Softies can come in.
We have some wonderful cycling holidays which are perfect for beginners looking to explore some of Europe’s best wine regions. With GPS navigation, bikes fully kitted for your comfort, and on-hand destination managers ready to answer your every question, a Softies holiday is perfect for starting your cycling journey. But it is helpful to know the ways in which you can make yourself feel most at home on the saddle. From sun protection and snacks to taking it slow and wearing the right clothing, read on to discover our top cycling tips for beginners.
It is incredibly important that you bring water to stay hydrated. One of the most crucial cycling tips for beginners, dehydration can ruin the entire experience for you. When exploring Italy or southern France by bike, the wonderful atmosphere is best enjoyed with water on hand, especially when the sun is shining down. Not only this but wearing sufficient sun protection is a must. Heatstroke is definitely not on our tour itineraries! This means packing sun cream with sufficient SPF, sunglasses to protect your eyes, and a hat to shield your face. Knowing you’re hydrated and protected from the sun gives you that extra peace of mind so you can enjoy your cycling adventure to the fullest.
Depending on the route, cycling can be an exciting exercise at times. This can easily tire you out, leaving you weary and low in energy. That’s why bringing some extra snacks is another one of our cycling tips for beginners. When exploring Europe, there are a multitude of cafes with delicious pastries and cakes to replenish you, but you may find yourself on a pristine route through the natural landscape away from the towns. In this instance, an energy bar or a piece of fruit is the perfect fix. Exploring the bustling local markets in the morning to find your mid-day snack refuel is also the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of the region. Feeling refreshed and invigorated is our favourite way to feel when cycling.
The best way to have an uncomfortable bike ride is to set off without properly adjusting your bike seat. If the seat is not correct for your height, you can experience knee pain as well as underpowered pedalling. This can all be resolved if the bicycle seat is properly adjusted, often times higher than you’d think. Making sure your tyres are pumped to the right pressure is another crucial part of your cycling preparation. Flat tyres can make it harder to cycle and increase the chance of damaging the bike. Before you set out on your cycling holiday with us, our cycle experts will correctly fit you with your bikes, making sure you’re comfortable and ready to take on the routes. Comfort is king when it comes to bike tours, which is why a correct seat position is one of our top cycling tips for beginners.
When setting out on your bike ride, what you wear is arguably the most important decision of the day. Check the local weather before you head off on your journey so that you know what to expect from the day. When cycling in a warm region like Tuscany, breathability is an important aspect of your clothing to stay cool, especially in the summer months. When off the bike, and you’ve taken your helmet off, a cap to shield your face from the sun is also a must. If the weather is likely to be cooler, perhaps in September in Sussex, then a lightweight waterproof and windproof layer is essential. Although this is usually a wonderful time of year in the UK for weather, bringing these means you won’t get caught off-guard and you can enjoy your cycling adventure in full comfort. Our destination managers can also give you some great clothing advice as they have in-depth knowledge of the regions and the weather there, so don’t be afraid to ask.
If it’s your first time setting out on a cycling trip, remember to take it slow. Overdoing yourself on the first day can mean you’re less likely to enjoy the other days and routes. Remember to take frequent breaks with plenty of water. Don’t be afraid to dig into the snacks you brought either, you’ll be thankful for them when the energy boost kicks in. Our cycling holidays are leisurely and often have e-bike upgrades, but to those who are very new to the activity, it’s important to listen to your body. To prevent getting sore from the saddle, padded shorts are a great investment, giving you that extra cushioning if you need it. Once again, being comfortable is the most important of our cycling tips for beginners.
If you’re unsure about anything, make sure you ask for help. On our cycling holidays, your destination managers and cycle experts are on hand to put your worries at ease. If you’re cycling in a group, there will be many experienced cyclists with seasoned knowledge that would be happy to help as well. It might also be worth learning a little bit about how to cycle in a group before you head out. Don’t be afraid to ask people what’s best, as your safety and that of the group are paramount to your holiday.
For more cycling tips for beginners, give us a call on 020 7471 7760, or alternatively, view our easy cycling routes here.
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